09052: Protection by prevention: protecting priority areas from dieback – Walpole Wilderness and Mt Lindesay

    Banksia are a key species impacted by dieback. Courtesy South Coast NRM.
    Banksia are a key species impacted by dieback. Courtesy South Coast NRM.

    The Walpole Wilderness and Mt Lindesay areas are a vast natural and wild landscape containing the last stands of many floral species and the largest dieback-free examples of once-common vegetation complexes.

    Specific areas of value include biodiverse nodes of undisturbed vegetation, threatened ecological communities, and listed flora species endemic to the area.

    With the help of funding from the State NRM Program, South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc. undertook activities aimed at the medium- to long-term protection of selected areas of the wilderness.

    Two key components addressed in this project were:

    • engagement activities to change stakeholder behaviour
    • feral pig control program to prevent further infestations of dieback.

    Lessons learnt

    Community engagement
    Engagement strategies were adapted throughout the project to increase participation. Early presentations were too long to capture visitors' interest. Shorter 15 minute presentations run consecutively over a two hour period had better results.

    Feral pig trapping
    Camera traps proved very effective at providing detail of how the animals were interacting with traps and pre-feeds, movement patterns, abundance of animals and optimal times for targeted shooting operations.

    Project specifics

    Investment: $ 104 218
    In-kind contribution: $ 249 070
    Other contribution: $ 2 363
    Delivery organisation: South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc.
    Project duration: September 2010 - September 2011
    Location: South Coast region

    Major project achievements

    • 600 community stakeholders engaged in events to increase their awareness of Phytophthora ('dieback').
    • 20 stakeholder groups engaged in dieback awareness training.
    • 8 stakeholder groups initiated or upgraded protocols for inclusion in management practices.
    • 6 stakeholder groups adopted the use of dieback hygiene kits in the field.
    • 3 pamphlets and two posters specific to the Mt Lindesay and Walpole Wilderness areas developed and made available to community members and key agencies. A pamphlet specific to horse hygiene was also produced.
    • Motorcycle Enduro joint venture model established between Denmark Motorcycle Club, the Department of Environment and Conservation and South Coast NRM.
    • Feral pig priority activity areas, buffer zones and target areas identified for control.
    • 5910 km of vehicle-based observations and 127 km of foot-based observations undertaken within and around identified dieback-free protectable areas.
    • 217 pig sightings documented October 2010 - June 2011 that directly affected dieback-free protectable areas and adjacent buffer zones.
    • 24 feral pig traps were established in the field for 153 trap nights during which 24 pigs were trapped. An additional 13 pigs were destroyed as a result of camera trap data and early morning shooting operations.
    • Key stakeholder groups were informed of: dieback hygiene protocols; requirements of landform-based clean downs; management of dogs and pig carcasses to prevent soil movement.

    Project partners

    Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC); DEC Vegetation Health Services; Caring for our Country; Shire of Denmark; Shire of Manjimup; South West Catchment Council; Young & Associates; WOW Wilderness; Moore Mapping; Denmark Motor Cycle Club; Ficifolia Consulting; Denmark Veterinary Clinic; Silverlock & Co.; Walpole Nornalup National Parks Association; GAIA Resources; Walpole Visitor Centre; Denmark Visitor Centre; WA School of Agriculture

    More information

    South Coast Natural Resource Management Inc. (08) 9845 8537 or

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